LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The scientific chorus is growing louder for the Governor to impose a brief shutdown of the state to reduce the number of COVID outbreaks. The latest voice comes from someone whom the Governor knows quite well.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer defeated her two more progressive opponents in the Democratic primary for governor in 2018, but Dr. Abdul El-Sayed was a thorn in her side throughout the campaign.
Now, he’s back strongly advising her to do what she clearly does not want to do.
“We need a lockdown in Michigan,” he said.
Dr. El-Sayed suggests a two-to-three week lockdown, but the Governor has steadfastly refused to go there calling instead for citizens to voluntarily comply with the mandatory mask law and other safety protocols. In recent news conferences she has reflected that Michigan doesn’t have a policy problem, the problem some citizens still refuse to “do the right thing.”
But, in recent days the head of the Center for Disease Control has advised the Governor that a lockdown is the best way to bend the out of control COVID rampage in Michigan.
Dr. El-Sayed said if he were governor, he would shut down the state “no question.”
“I think she stood tall when it came to taking on the pandemic in the spring and fall, but part of the frustration is having shut it down in the past, the fact that she is not shutting down now sends a message to folks that this [outbreak] is not as serious by contrast to the other two,” said Dr. El-Sayed.
The Governor justified earlier shutdowns explaining that the science warranted that action because cases, hospitalizations and positive tests were off the charts.
Epidemiologist Dr. El-Sayed argues Michigan is in that same boat again, and the Governor’s policy of relying on the vaccine to bend the curve will not work.
“The timing is not going to work out. It’s going to take too long. That is not a viable approach,” said Dr. El-Sayed.
The Governor has been continuing pressure to avoid more shutdowns and when the senate GOP leader is praising the Governor…
“You gotta ask yourself whether or not you’re doing the right thing,” said Dr. El-Sayed.
“Politics being what it is, I understand why that is difficult. Science being what it is, I understand why locking down is needed so badly. So if it’s between saving Michiganders’ lives or doing what’s politically feasible, I know the governor is going to make the right decision,” he said.